Propaganda in Action: Toronto Star uses weasel words to distort NDP story

Anybody see any difference between these three screencaps?

When Stephen Harper makes a policy announcement, the Toronto Star uses the political neutral verb “touts” (in accordance with proper journalistic practise). [source]

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When Stéphane Dion makes a policy announcement, the Toronto Star uses the political neutral verb “touts” (in accordance with proper journalistic practise). [source]

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But when Jack Layton makes a policy announcement, what happens to the good journalistic practise and integrity of the Toronto Star? [source]

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The word “hype” is a normative word and is generally considered a weasel word since it carries with it additional meanings of ‘contrivance’ and ‘unnecessary extravagance’.  This isn’t to say that there may not be just cause do consider Layton’s ‘green strategy’ as being ‘contrived’.  I leave that for the reader to decide one way or another as it is not important here.  But, if one could make the argument that it is worth considering whether Layton’s green strategy is contrived, then one could argue at least as easily that it is ridiculous to claim that Harper has any reason to “tout” his dismal record or that there even exists such a thing as ‘clean’ coal.

3 Responses to “Propaganda in Action: Toronto Star uses weasel words to distort NDP story”


  1. 1 Nick J Boragina 15 September, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    The idea that the media is biased against the NDP is not a silly one. I saw it myself back when I was on the executive of the PEI NDP. Even worse is a small local paper here in Toronto going on and on about Dion and his “Liberal Government”

    The media likes close two-way races. That means viewers and ad money. If they cant get that, then they try to convince you that minority/majority is critically important, and you must watch to see which one they’ll get. Majority governments are boring for news departments.

  2. 2 janfromtheburce 15 September, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    In Ontario, everybody knows that TorStar is a Liberal rag. It is the mouthpiece of the liberal party, where it gives the liberal party writers opportunities for “opinion pieces.”

    I only remember once where the paper endorse a provincial NDP govt – the day before the election. The prov libs must have sucked badly.

    Anyway, I have smiled this past week, as I heard the lib bloggers talk about how the the media was treating the liberal campaign and particularly their leader. They “voiced” outrage about this injustice. Stated that the MSM was giving the Harper crew and leader a “free ride.” Chuckle.

    Welcome to the day-to-day world of the New Democrats. It is no surprise that our New Democrat MPs are so hardworking, intelligent, committed MPs. They had to really work their butts off to get elected, in spite of the daily bias of the MSM, and/or NO MEDIA AT ALL. They most had to run more than once if not three times to get elected. There had to be a great riding association, willing to work their butts off during the campaign, and most often before, to get their gal or guy elected.
    No easy street for these fine folks.

    Meanwhile, on easy street Liberal brand, that candidate (in the past), just had to stick a Liberal button on their lapel, open an office with no workers (facade of something happening inside), but tons of bucks, and Mr./Ms./Mrs. easy street liberal got the prize on election day.

    To spare me the bucket of liberal tears. I just can’t really get into it with you. You know feel your pain.

    Thanks for letting me say what I have been thinking the last couple of days as I listened – it seemed endless – to the “end times are near” sob stories.

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